Always unpredictable when it comes to its own hardware, Amazon could still be looking for a smartphone comeback after a monumental 2014 sales flop while constantly expanding the Echo lineup and randomly upgrading Fire tablets.
Following a summer 2017 rehash of the fall 2015-released Fire 7 and HD 8, the Fire HD 10 that also saw daylight a couple of years ago finally gets a sequel today. Only this is a proper follow-up effort, with the same old lackluster design but a bunch of important feature enhancements in tow and, believe it or not, lower pricing too.
The “all-new” Amazon Fire HD 10 is up for pre-order already starting at $149.99, rolling out to early adopters on October 11. 150 bucks of course buys you a version with “special offers”, aka lockscreen ads, and entry-level 32GB storage.
A 64 gig model can be yours for as little as $189.99, and getting rid of “sponsored screensavers” is going to cost you an extra $15 for either SKU. As usual, Amazon content and photos can go in the cloud with no limits, and if that’s still not enough for your digital hoarding habit, there’s also a microSD card slot on deck.
But undoubtedly the refreshed Fire HD 10’s top selling point is a Full HD 10.1-inch display (1920 x 1200 pixels), which is by no means standard fare in the sub-$200 division. Amazon also touts 30 percent improved performance over the original Fire HD 10, provided by an unnamed quad-core processor clocked at “up to” 1.8 GHz and 2GB RAM. And while the company’s entire tablet family supports Alexa nowadays, the new guy is actually the first that lets you interact with the digital assistant hands-free. No touch needed, just intuitive voice commands.
At 500 grams and 9.8mm thick, the second-gen Amazon Fire HD 10 is no featherweight, but at least it promises adequate battery life (up to 10 hours of mixed use). Other mixed features include stereo speakers, a VGA front-facing camera, 2MP rear shooter, dual-band Wi-Fi and allegedly better durability than Apple’s much pricier iPad Pro 10.5. Color us intrigued, but first, choose from Black, Marine Blue and Punch Red color options.